Faith and Wealth

The Gospel and Lessons from Wall Street

  • 17th Sunday After Pentecost
  • Luke 16:1-13

Living in preparation for the judgement that is coming is the theme of this gospel reading. Jesus tells the story of a rich man who had a steward who was discharged for bad management of his master’s property. This parable seems to praise the steward’s dishonesty. Read the parable with Jesus’ sense of humor in mind. This dishonest steward is better prepared than Jesus’ disciples!

Daniel B. Clendenin, PhD writes a weekly essay on the Revised Common Lectionary called Journey with Jesus – Notes to Myself. This week’s posting is particularly relevant to this week’s Gospel. On June 16, 2010 Warren Buffett published a letter in which he pledged to give away 99% of his wealth to charity. The letter also announced his collaboration with Bill Gates to challenge some of the wealthiest people in the world to pledge half their wealth to charity. Their challenge was explained in a follow-up article. After making about eighty phone calls, some forty people have said yes to their appeal.

Jesus’ disciples must be able to act when need arises, and must know the uses of wealth, but never be enslaved by it.

God of unexpected judgement, finding grace in the devious and uncompromised: free us from the certainty of having you in our grip that a better wealth may flow through our hands; through Jesus Christ, the Currency of Life. Amen. (from Prayers for an Inclusive Church by Steven Shakespeare. 2009: Church Publishing)

About Sharon Ely Pearson

Editor and Christian Formation Specialist for Church Publishing Incorporated
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